"To inspire and motivate young people to realise their potential by valuing education and understanding how to succeed in the world of work"
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Student Entrepreneurs Claim Regional Crown

Regional Finalists Collage for WebsiteRegional finalists of the Údarás na Gaeltachta Comórtas Fiontraíochta

Four emerging enterprises founded by local students in the Mayo and Galway Gaeltacht areas have been crowned regional finalists of the Údarás na Gaeltachta - Clár Comhlachta.

Clár Comhlachta is a hands-on business learning experience developed and delivered in partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI) and is taught by business volunteers through the Irish language to students in Gaeltacht regions.  500 Transition Year students from Gaeltacht regions in Cork, Galway, Donegal, Kerry, Mayo, Meath & Waterford have participated this year and challenged themselves to create, operate and manage their very own business!

Following intense days of competition in both Mayo & Galway the following four entreprises; 'CPA Woodwork' from Coláiste Pobail, Acla, ‘Cluasáin Clúdaithe’ from Scoil Mhuire, Béal an Mhuirthead, Blas de Chonamara  from Scoil Phobail Mhic Dara, Carna and Cothú Cinnte from Colaiste Chroi Mhuire from An Spiddeal were chosen to progress and represent their region in the National Final of the Údarás na Gaeltachta – Clár na gComhlachtaí.

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JAI & Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Partnership Continues in 2017

CastlebarCelebrating the First Cohort of EPA Volunteers - Thank You to Our Mayo-based Volunteers 

We were delighted to partner with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the first time. During 2015/16 school year 29 EPA employees from Head Office, Johnstown Castle Estate, Wexford and the Regional Inspectorate in Castlebar Co. Mayo volunteered to teach Junior Achievement programmes in primary and second level schools. Local students from senior infants to Transition Year students got the chance to complete JA programmes because of the EPA volunteers. 

droneDrone Display at student Science workshopIn addition to teaching a programme, 11 volunteers arranged for students to visit the EPA to further develop their understanding of the correlation between education and the workplace. Activities included site tours and a very special science workshop in which the students enjoyed seeing a hovercraft and a drone in operation and river micro fauna displays.

Thanks to each of our first volunteers from the EPA - hard acts to follow! We look forward to continuing our partnership with the EPA in the Dublin, Monaghan and Kilkenny sites in 2017.

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JAI moves to the PorterShed Entrepreneurial Hub

JAI Sitting

 Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI) has become the 20th organisation to locate an office in the PorterShed in Galway. Coincidentally, we are also celebrating our 20th anniversary this year, having first worked with Irish students in 1996.

 In the West of Ireland, we enjoy support from AIB, Baxter, Bank of Ireland, Boston Scientific, Cambus Medical, Environmental Protection Agency, Ervia, Fidelity Investments, Health and Safety Authority, KBC Bank, Oracle, Top Oil, Údarás na Gaeltactha, Zimmer and Penn Engineering. However, with the popularity of the programmes and increasing programme requests from schools in the west, we are currently seeking new companies, to meet this demand.

"It's great to have JAI as one of the latest organisations hosted in the PorterShed, as it builds yet more bridges between parts of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the West, allowing JAI to connect with all of the PorterShed companies and also corporates in the area who attend our many hosted events, " said Dr John Breslin, Director of TechInnovate at NUI Galway and Board Member of the Galway City Innovation District / PorterShed. "It also provides the opportunity for school goers to see where their entrepreneurial or innovative tendencies may take them as startup founders or innovators within larger companies."

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Delivering the Business of Innovation to the Classroom!

crop 3 CIMG9914Students from Presentation Secondary School, Athenry enjoying a visit to Cambus Medical

In 2015/16 school year,  12 Cambus Medical volunteers worked with over 130 students in Galway schools and helped them to gain science, enterprise and life skills, by bringing innovative and interactive learning opportunities into local schools, through its partnership with JAI. Cambus Medical volunteers taught programmes in schools in Spiddal, Furbo and Barna and by doing so, helped to show students the the link between education and the workplace.

Cambus Medical  also hosted  a ‘school to work day’ for students from Presentation Secondary School, Athenry, where a  Transition Year class came  in to their plant in Spiddal and received  a presentation on the processes that take place there and the opportunities available, followed by a tour of the facility.John Farragher giving tour

 The ‘school to work days’ have been a great success, as the students get to see the various roles that people carry out on site. Their imaginations are stimulated and they can see first-hand the opportunities available to them, if they stay on in school and complete their education. For some of them, maybe they will pursue a career in science or engineering and others may not, but what better way to find out than meeting employees carrying out these roles in Cambus Medical, at a time when they are about to decide what they would like to do in the future.

Jason Cotter of  Presentation Secondary School, Athenry  said, “The class had great day at Cambus Medical and were introduced to all areas of the business which allowed them to gain a great insight into how a business functions. I believe it is hugely beneficial for students to engage in field trips as part of their business education, so that they can relate the business theory we are teaching them in the classroom, to the practice which they observe on business trips, like today at Cambus Medical!”  

According to John Farragher of Cambus Medical, “Cambus Medical is this year celebrating 10 years serving the Medical technology sector and we have been partnering with Junior achievement Ireland for much of this time. Considering the shear pace of innovation in science and technology over the past 10 years, we are delighted our vounteers are continuing to work with local schools encouraging students to continue their path through Higher education and making them aware of the many exciting career opportunities that are available to them if they continue to invest in continung their education”.


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Údarás na Gaeltachta Inspires a New Generation of Entrepreneurs

Udaras LaunchHelen Raftery, CEO of JAI; Seán Kyne TD, Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs; Amy Ní Fhlatharta and Eoin Ó Murchú, students at Coláiste Cholmcille and Stiofán Ó Cualáin, Údarás na Gaeltachta

500 Transition Year students from Gaeltacht regions in Cork, Galway, Donegal, Kerry Mayo, Meath & Waterford will participate in the Údarás na Gaeltachta – Clár na gComhlachtaí this year.

Seán Kyne TD, Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs launched the 2016/17 programme in Coláiste Cholmcille, Indreabhán and students from the school were on hand to display some of the innovative ideas that they have for their fledgling businesses!

Clár na gComhlachtaíis is a hands-on business learning experience developed and delivered in partnership with JAI and is taught through the Irish language to students attending schools in Gaeltacht regions. Based on the well-established JA Company Programme and Company of the Year Competition, students create, operate and manage their own business. The programme provides numerous opportunities for the development and reinforcement of important academic and leadership skills.

Local business volunteers, each of whom is recruited, trained and supported by JAI, mentor the students alongside their teachers as they move from the idea generation stage, to production, marketing, sales, finance right through to going to market.

Based on research on entrepreneurship education, students participating in Údarás Clár na gComhlachtaí are more likely to start their own business, are at lower risk of being unemployed, and are more often in steady employment into adulthood. These projected outcomes are based on the success schemes around Europe, which incorporate the JA Company Programme, on which the design of Clár na gComhlachtaí is based.

Seán Kyne TD, Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs commented: “I’d like to congratulate Údarás na Gaeltachta and Junior Achievement Ireland for their collaboration on Clár na gComhlachtaí and I wish the students all the best in this very worthwhile initiative. Businesses are at the heart of the economy in this country and this programme is a wonderful opportunity to instill entrepreneurship in young people.”

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